Have we come so far as a nation, that we no longer need rules? It would appear that most young people today think so. With no respect for absolutes or moral integrity what place do they have in society?
This would explain the blatant disregard for authority that is so pervasive in our culture.
I'm not speaking of adolescence. That can be expected...planned for, we've all been there. I'm talking about the staggering number of "leftover kids" from broken homes that don't have a sense of morals at all because their parents haven't instilled core values. They cherish the relationship with them more than their commitment to helping that young person develop into an adult that thinks critically about himself or herself and the world that they live in.
Most adults today think that it would be unfair to try and control their kids. They're afraid to tackle the tough issues because they themselves don't have the answers. They don't want to "upset the child" and cause them to runaway or make foolish decisions, so they back off altogether and leave it to people like Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake, Jenny Jones or our public school system (which is already overburdened). Or they have shame issues of their own and don't feel qualified or, worthy, to promulgate ethics in the home. Many times it's due to manipulation from the child.
All it would take is a quick look around to see that there is something terribly disconcerting going on. Something that is slowly veering out of control with young minds that are too immature to interpret reality.
Even older, more knowledgable people can make mistakes. This generation needs structure more than any other...ever.
If you lived in a large apartment building with a balcony fifty stories up but the railing was missing, your security would be greatly compromised and you wouldn't feel safe enough to venture out. You would have to disregard safety and common sense to be out there. However if you grew up without the railing or any warning about the laws of gravity you would most certainly walk the edge, snickering at those who would vehemently decline the offer thinking yourself to be, smarter, more courageous and daring. Conversely if the railing was in the dining room or at the kitchen table you may end up vulnerable to attack due to a lack of assertiveness.
Of course these are oversimplified illustrations but I'm sure you get the point.
Todays culture, has built into it, mechanisms that protect our kids from following rules that we lay down for them by teaching them quick responses to maneuver through and around our arguments. Disrespecting our position as parent and the vital role that we must play.
It is true that we need to cultivate a connection between parent and child but we must parent effectively! We can then enjoy the fruits of camaraderie found exclusively in meaningful relationships. When they attack us with hurtful words and crude behavior,they'll know that when they're all done with their exaggerated displays of passion, the Standard that you have set will not be moved and upon remembering your love and the "good times", provided there are those memories (and hopefully there are many) they will eventually rescind until the next butting of heads.
We must remain the Parent(s) and preserve our headship.
Even if we don't feel like the adult, we have a responsibility to our children to find our place as one.
I know that with my own three kids I've had to forego their acceptance of me on many occasions. It is not necessarily pleasant either. I hate being on the outside of my childs frame of reference, it's scary! But they eventually come back around, knowing that no matter what happens, their mother and I will be there for them, to help them through the process, speaking the truth in love. They see God in their parents, taking care of them as only He can. Ready to heal the brokenhearted with tenderness, patience and forgiveness through the comfort found in the maintained relationship and the Sacrifices made.
Your child will buck and the more room you allow them, the more they'll buck, this is normal. There's a delicate balance between punishment and discipline, consequences and thoughtful creative ways of teaching them to respect you, discipleship is a process.
May we all find our place, before a whole generation of mothers is brought to shame because of the uncertainty of our roles. What a tragedy it would be indeed, if we lost who we were in a whirlpool of Law & Politics. Our children would most certainly suffer , simply because we were too spiritually lazy to get the facts.